|Publication number||US6368435 B1|
|Application number||US 09/424,657|
|Publication date||Apr 9, 2002|
|Filing date||May 26, 1998|
|Priority date||May 28, 1997|
|Also published as||DE19722408C1, DE59813939D1, EP0985224A1, EP0985224B1, WO1998054754A1|
|Publication number||09424657, 424657, PCT/1998/3094, PCT/EP/1998/003094, PCT/EP/1998/03094, PCT/EP/98/003094, PCT/EP/98/03094, PCT/EP1998/003094, PCT/EP1998/03094, PCT/EP1998003094, PCT/EP199803094, PCT/EP98/003094, PCT/EP98/03094, PCT/EP98003094, PCT/EP9803094, US 6368435 B1, US 6368435B1, US-B1-6368435, US6368435 B1, US6368435B1|
|Original Assignee||Singulus Technologies Ag|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (22), Classifications (24), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is the national phase of international application PCT /EP98/03094 filed May 26, 1998 which designated the U.S.
The invention relates to a device and a method for separately transporting substrates and can be used especially in the production of DVDs (digital versatile disks).
Especially in the production of DVDs it is of particular importance that two substrates, which are bonded to form a DVD, are kept apart during transport and are not mixed up.
In known transporting systems for the DVD process (Cube of the company Balzers, cf. DE-C2-42 35 677) the substrates for the DVD are supplied through one single lock station. In this case there is a risk that the different substrates are mixed up.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,969,790 discloses a device and a method for coating substrates in a vacuum chamber, wherein a rotatable substrate holder bears a plurality of substrate receivers adapted to transport substrates on a circular path from one lock station to an associated coating station and back to the same respective lock station.
Moreover, the prospectus Speedline, DVD-Speedline plus, Leybold Systems GmbH, 2/97 discloses a transporting system in which different substrates are transported by a rotational movement to different processing stations.
DE-C1-196 06 764 discloses a device for gripping, holding and/or transporting substrates. A substrate is transported by means of gripping elements from an input station to a plurality of processing stations arranged in a line or circle. A plurality of gripping arms can be adjusted in a horizontal and/or vertical direction. Some gripping elements can be adjusted together in a horizontal and/or vertical direction, and at least one gripping arm can be adjusted independently of the other gripping arms in at least one of the movement directions.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a device and a method for separately transporting substrates, wherein mixing-up of the substrates is reliably prevented.
The object is achieved with the features of the claims.
In achieving this object, the invention starts out from the following basic ideas.
Two input stations are arranged on a circular arc at a given angular distance α. Moreover, at least two processing stations, which are spaced from each other by the given angle α, can be provided on the arc of the circle. Grippers are provided on the same arc of the circle at the given distance α and can be simultaneously rotated around an axis through the center of said circle through an angle β. Two grippers simultaneously take one substrate each and transport the substrates to the processing stations, e.g. by rotating the gripping arrangement through 120°. Then the grippers can transport the different substrates to two output stations. The grippers can take up new substrates so that the transport step can be repeated. It is also possible to transport the substrates directly to the output stations thereby avoiding the processing stations, e.g. by changing the direction of rotation or, if the direction of rotation is maintained, by a rotation through 240°. Preferably, the grippers make a pendulum movement. Two grippers transport the substrates from the input stations to the processing stations and two grippers from the processing stations to the output stations in a reciprocating movement.
The advantages of the present invention reside in that a mixing-up of the substrates is avoided.
In the following, the invention is explained in more detail on the basis of the drawings in which
FIG. 1 is a basic drawing of the device of the present invention,
FIG. 2 is a top view of an embodiment of the present invention in connection with an arrangement for producing DVDs.
FIG. 1 shows a top view of the basic construction of the device of the present invention. Two separate transport paths 1′, 7′ and 1″, 7″ are connected with each other by a transporting means 4. The device comprises two input stations 2′, 2″, two processing stations 5′, 5″ and two output stations 6′, 6″. The transporting means 4 comprises at least two grippers 11, 12 which are rotatable around a rotational axis 3 and which are arranged on a circular arc 8 at a given angular distance α by means of arms 20. Between the two input stations 2′, 2″, the two processing stations 5′, 5″ and the two output stations 6′, 6″, there is the same given angular distance α. The substrates 1′ and 1″ taken by the respective grippers 11 and 12 at the respective input stations 2′ and 2″ are transported by a rotational movement through an angle β to the respective processing stations 5′ and 5″ and/or the respective output stations 6′ and 6″. The rotational angle β depends on the distance of the different stations. However, it is preferably larger than the angle α between two equal stations. Thus, even more than the three station pairs as shown in FIG. 1 may be arranged on a single circular arc.
FIG. 2 shows an embodiment of the invention in connection with an arrangement for producing DVDs. Substrates 15′ and 15″ are transported from respective magazines or spindles 9′ and 9″ via respective transport paths 10′ and 10″ to the respective input stations 2′ and 2″. The input stations are arranged on the circular arc 8 at a distance of preferably 60°. Moreover, two processing stations 5′ and 5″ and two output stations 6′ and 6″, which are spaced from each other and from the input stations by 60°, are arranged on the same circle. A transporting means 4 which can be rotated around an axis 3 of the circular arc 8 comprises grippers 11, 12, 13 and 14 for transporting the substrates 15′ and 15″ on the circle 8. In FIG. 2 the grippers 11 and 12 take over the substrates 15″ and 15′, respectively, in the respective processing stations 5″ and 5′, and the grippers 14 and 13 take over the substrates 15′ and 15″, respectively, in the respective input stations 2′ and 2″. Thus, it is guaranteed that substrates 15′ from the transport path 10′ can only be transported to the processing station 5′ and substrates 15″ from the transport path 10″ only to the processing station 5″. From the processing stations 5″ and 5′, the respective grippers 11 and 12 then transport the substrates to the respective output stations 6″ and 6′. The grippers 11 and 12, which became free, are then rotated back to the respective processing stations 5″ and 5′ and, at the same time, the grippers 13 and 14 are rotated back to the respective input stations 2″ and 2′. In this connection, the grippers carry out a reciprocating (pendulum) movement. In this way, grippers being optimally adapted to the respective situation can be used. However, it is also possible to standardize the stations and to use a standardized type of gripper. Then, the grippers can move along the circle and, for example, three gripper pairs can be used.
In the arrangement according to FIG. 2 the processing stations 5′ and 5″ are for example cathode sputtering units in which the substrates 15′ and 15″ are coated. The grippers 13 and 14 supply the respective substrates 15″ and 15′ to the lock stations (not shown) of the corresponding cathode sputtering units in which the substrates 15′ are coated with a fully reflecting layer of e.g. aluminum and the substrates 15″ with a semi-transparent layer, e.g. gold. After a cyclical course through the cathode sputtering unit, the substrates 15″ and 15′ are again taken up by the respective grippers 11 and 12 and transported to the output stations 6″ and 6′. A turning device 16 is arranged behind the output station 6″, and a rotary table 17 is arranged behind the output station 6′. The rotary table 17 transports the substrate 15′ into the area 16 a of the turning device 16 which places the turned substrate 15″ onto the substrate 15′. Then the two substrates are bonded. By a further transporting means 18, the bonded substrates 15 (consisting of substrates 15′ and 15″) are transported into a drying means 19 for curing the bonding layer (e.g. by UV radiation), then by a transporting means 21 to a turning station 22 and a test station (scanning means) 23 and finally to the output station 24.
In the turning station 22 the bonded substrate 15 is turned upside down so that the half 15″ lies on the bottom. Then the substrate is transported to the test station 23. The turning station 22 is provided to allow, depending on the DVD type, scanning through the substrate 15″ and the transparent semi-transparent layer, e.g. gold layer, from the bottom if, as shown in the example of FIG. 2, the DVD comprises on its top a substrate 15″ having a gold layer, for drying the bond layer in the drying means 19 from the top through the semi-transparent gold layer with low energy and thus time requirements. The turning station 22 is not used if the upper substrate 15″ is not coated, as it is the case in other DVDs (type DVD5), and if the lower substrate 15′ is coated with aluminum. In this case the DVD is already in the position required for scanning in the test station. The turning station 22 which can be used optionally thus increases flexibility and usability of an unit for producing different DVDs, e.g. DVD9 or DVD5.
Thus, the use of a turning station which can be used optionally is also per se in general an essential inventive feature in the production of DVDs.
Instead of being connected with the magazines (spindles) 9′ and 9″, the respective transport paths 10′ and 10″ can also be connected directly with an injection molding machine for producing the respective substrates 15′ and 15″.
If no processing steps are required in the processing stations 5′ and 5″, e.g. in case the two substrates 15′ and 15″ are produced and coated off-line and are then stored temporarily in the two spindles 9′ and 9″, respectively, the substrates 15′ and 15″ can possibly be transported directly to the respective output stations 6′ and 6″ by changing the direction of rotation.
By means of the device according to the present invention the substrates can easily be transported on two separate transport paths without the risk of mixing them up, wherein for retrofitting the unit, the processing stations 5′ and 5″ can be easily incorporated later, if required.
It is also possible to combine the transporting means 4 together with the bonding means 16 a, the transporting means 18, the drying station 19, the turning station 22 and the test station 23 with any desired number of other upstream-located means (e.g. sputtering unit, injection molding unit) and processing stations in accordance with the unit construction principle.
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|U.S. Classification||156/64, 118/503, 156/378, 156/578, G9B/7.194, 414/223.01, 156/275.7, 156/379.8, 156/556, 414/758|
|International Classification||H01L21/677, B65G49/07, G11B7/26, H01L21/00|
|Cooperative Classification||H01L21/67236, Y10T156/1798, H01L21/67184, H01L21/67161, Y10T156/1744, G11B7/26|
|European Classification||H01L21/67S2Z12, H01L21/67S2Z2, H01L21/67S2Z4, G11B7/26|
|Mar 31, 2000||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG, GERMANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KEMPF, STEFAN;REEL/FRAME:010707/0936
Effective date: 19991220
|Oct 26, 2005||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Apr 10, 2006||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Jun 6, 2006||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20060409